Friday, 13 March 2009

New paper up on my website

... at (or download directly). This is an early draft which I'll present at MPSA. It tackles the question of why people go to war. Essentially it provides microfoundations for thinking that the decision to fight is like a Stag Hunt, rather than a Prisoner's Dilemma. (Stag Hunts are relatively benign collective action problems, in which everyone is willing to cooperate so long as everybody else does.) Most people's intuition is that war is a PD. I try to show this is not always the case. Along the way, I provide a very simple model of the social construction of ethnic identity, handwave vaguely at endogenizing ethnic boundaries, and say mean things about Social Dominance Theory.